The Zero and the One
by Ryan Ruby
A gripping and wildly original gothic twist on the classic tale of innocents abroad, the seductions of friendship and the power of dangerous ideas, The Zero and the One is impossible to put down.
A shy, bookish scholarship student from a working class family, Owen Whiting has high hopes of Oxford, only to find himself adrift and out of place. But his life takes a dramatic turn when he meets Zachary Foedern, a visiting scholar from New York. Rich, brilliant and charismatic, Zach takes Owen under his wing, introducing him to a world Owen has only ever read about.
From Oxford to the seedy underbelly of Berlin, they dare each other to transgress the boundaries of convention and morality, until Zach proposes the greatest transgression of all: a suicide pact. But when Zach’s plans go horribly awry, Owen is left to pick up the pieces and navigate the boundaries between illusion and reality to preserve a hold on his once bright future.
No one – least of all Owen – will foresee where that leads him …
‘A brilliant and captivating novel . . . It’s as sharp as a tack, and the pages turn themselves.’
BENJAMIN HALE, author of The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore
‘The sort of book you read in a day – reminded, between gulps, of The Secret History and The Talented Mr. Ripley – and then spend months thinking about.’
BEN DOLNICK, author of Zoology
‘Brilliantly erudite, deeply engaging, and full of heart.’
LAUREN ELKIN, author of Flâneuse
‘A gripping, intellectually agile book . . . this masterful work will thrill you, and give you much ominous food for thought.’
ALEXANDRA KLEEMAN, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine